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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 10:01 GMT 11:01 UK
My war: The grieving mother
Um Diya

Um Diya's son fought in the Iraqi army and was killed in battle. Here she talks of her grief and her fears for the future of the family.

My son was a junior officer in the Iraqi army and I was afraid for him when we knew there was going to be a war.

I did not want him to die in battle, but he said he had to go. He was afraid that if he didn't fight, people from the regime would take him away and execute him.

On 2 April we said goodbye to him.

He was sent to fight in the Al-Tarmiya region outside Baghdad. That same night, someone from the hospital came and told us that our son had bled to death after being wounded in battle.

We don't think he was properly looked after in hospital. They just let him bleed to death.

Um Diya and her husband Khalil Hussein
Um Diya and her husband are concerned for their grandchildren

Why did this happen? Will Mr Bush give us money to look after his two children now?

We are poor people and I am so worried about the little ones' future. There is a girl of six and a boy aged three. Who will look after them?

My son's name was Diya Khalil. He was 37-years-old.

He had been in the army for twenty years, since he was 17. 20 years' service and now he has been killed.

I swear he resembles the reporter from the BBC who has come to speak to us. I think my heart will break.

Now the children's mother has taken them away to her parents where she will live in confinement for three months and 10 days, to see whether she is expecting another child from my son.

Future worries

When I see the children, I imagine my son. They will have to take his place.

But for our tragedy, we would have been happy that Saddam Hussein has gone. He was a tyrant who only brought us blood and wars.

Let God destroy him as he destroyed us. Let Him cut Saddam's body to pieces.

But the thing I want most is a solution for the children. There is no government or army to give his family a pension, after the death of Diya.

My husband, Khalil Hussein, is a poor man. We will pay the money that we have to take care of the little ones.

But when it runs out what can we do?

We have to rely on God to look after us.


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